11/14/2014 01:47 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST

New pro-choice umbrella group to advocate for reproductive rights

OTTAWA - Some of Canada's top pro-choice groups have merged to form a charitable organization advocating for women's reproductive rights.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is an amalgamation of Action Canada for Population and Development, the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health and Canadians for Choice.

Executive director Sandeep Prasad says the charity will promote education and awareness of issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and access to safe abortions.

One of its goals is to improve access to reproductive health services. Prince Edward Island does not provide abortion services, and regulatory hurdles in New Brunswick are forcing women to find help outside the province.

Reproductive issues continue to make political waves.

The Conservative government has explicitly said that any funds earmarked for its Maternal and Child Health Initiative will not be spent on abortion services abroad.